Monroe County asking for more money to help cover MCSO overtime costs

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Monroe County is asking for more money to help get deputies the resources they need.

“Specifically for overtime spent within the city of Rochester and it’s for a short period,” Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mike Fowler said. “It’s to cover those expenses over just a few months, we’ll deal with it in pieces and see how far it gets us.”

As we continue to see a surge of violent crime in the city of Rochester, the county is asking for more money to help get deputies the resources they need.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello put in a referral to the county legislature asking for $100,000 for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to help cover overtime costs.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has been working side by side with Rochester police to help get the violence in the city under control, but with this expanded effort, deputies said they need more money.

“In order to have the patrols out on the street and to be able to surge to hotspots and try and create a deterrent effect to all of this violence, we have to have people on overtime,” Fowler said.

Fowler said it has to do with staffing shortages on top of the record-setting violence in the community. He said this is the highest amount of overtime the Sheriff’s Office has spent on road patrol services in its history.

“The dollar does not drive this discussion,” Fowler said. “It’s all about the violence and the pain and suffering that the families are feeling. It’s not about the dollar. It’s the right thing to do.”

“We want to make sure that the residents of the City of Rochester have what they need, the support they need from the sheriff’s department as well,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said.

Bello said this extra money will make a dent.

“The guns, firearms, the CPW charges, and the arrests that are being made in the city are staggering at this point,” Bello said. “So we need to give law enforcement the resources and the tools they need to get these guns off the street and put people in jail.”

The sheriff’s office currently has 22 openings and Rochester police have around 85 and they’re feeling the impact of the extra work.

“We don’t have extra deputies to be able to do this without feeling some sort of an effect.” Fowler said. “We’re essentially surging in the city of Rochester to help them in any way we can.”

Fowler said the focus on fighting crime in the city has forced them to prioritize some investigations.

“We’ve had to change some timelines on things,” Fowler said. “We’ve had to delay nonviolent criminal investigations, proactive details, traffic enforcement, community engagement, all that sort of thing that we very much value and need to be doing, but when you compare the two, responding to violence or dealing with that, we have to respond to the violence.”

As far as if the overtime is sustainable, Fowler said it’s something they’ll have to figure out, but right now the focus is on the violence.

The proposal should be adopted in November.